Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best of the Best

Let's face it, music can either make it or break your class.  Sure we can make a killer profile, or even pull together an entire training program, but if your participants can't stand the music, you'll be all alone in the Spinning studio.

I recently participated in an a continuing education class, and the master instructor commented how he hated music with lyrics.  He felt that he was forced to compete to talk over the lyrics.  I on the other hand, am obnoxious and have no problem talking right over them.  And I find the clients respond better if they're familiar with the song.  If you follow my music selections you'll notice that I don't tie myself to a particular genre (although I do go thru spells).  The best part about this is that I usually have something for everyone in my class, and they keep coming back.

So for the last two profiles of 2011, I decided to pull together my favorites from this years rides.  The only problem in doing so is that I might push myself so hard that even my heart will explode; obviously not a good thing.  Ride hard and do it safely because this session I bring to you two sets of Sprints.  Listen to your body and if you're coaching this ride to a class, pay attention to them as well; that's your job as the coach.  Push them, but not beyond their limits.

Download this profile...Interval 018
Click on the chart above to download this profile

Need the class builder app to make profiles like this?
Class Builder™ - Cycling Fusion

Final Word?
Remember that as a Fitness Professional that you should save all your business related expenses as you potentially can use these for a tax advantage when filing your income tax.  This could include equipment, software (like the app above), or even music if it's used for the intended purpose of instructing.  Check with your tax professional before doing so, but it's something you may want to consider.  I generally take advantage of this at the end of each to make my year end purchases of new clothing from as well as an dues or continuing education.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Twisted Christmas?

    Theme rides are always difficult in a big gym because every other instructor has chosen the common songs.  Halloween for example means that everyone has literally heard, "Thriller" so many times that they start to think they've fallen through a crack in time and arrived in the 80's. 

    Christmas is no exception, although it's even harder because there are so few rockin' songs that would get you motivated to actually apply some resistance to that bike and push hard.  So true to my form, I've gone out of my way to come up with music that no one else has even thought about playing for their Christmas ride (one exception might be "Run Run Rudolph")

    I have combined several steps in the instructions to simplify the profile.  Still you'll make multiple adjustments, but only one instruction for maybe 3 or 4 adjustments based on time.  This shortens the profile but requires the instructor to pay a little closer attention.

    Merry Christmas!

    Download this Christmas Interval ride

    Click on the chart above to download this profile.

    Need the music?

    Need the app?
    Class Builder™ - Cycling Fusion

    Monday, December 19, 2011


    Look closely and you'll see some buildings at the top of this mountain, known as Butterfly Mountain, with the top of this being called Adam's Peak.

    What would possess anyone to build something at this altitude?  Imagine the effort to climb that high with construction materials and then start building something (or in my case realize you left your hammer at the bottom.  Again.)

    Today's ride should be an interval in it's truest form where you take your heart rate high, and then try to quickly recover.  I'm running something I'm calling a Resistance Ladder during
    (pun not intended).  During this song you'll increase and decrease resistance several times, while trying to maintain a constant cadence.  Obviously while resistance is up, your heart rate will increase to compensate for pushing harder.

    There are a couple of songs with only 1 cue, remember this is your ride so if you need to get out of the saddle or to stop jumping, feel free to substitute something.

    We're finishing strong with 2 big Sprints.  Be sure to add resistance heavy, and remember if you're going faster than 80RPM during the sprint, you didn't add enough.

    Have a great ride!
    Download the Profile

    Click on the heart rate chart to download the ride profile & cue information
    Music from iTunes

    Thursday, December 15, 2011


    Timing is everything, it applies to coming in out of the rain before lightening strikes, and this time it applies to my guest contributor, Michelle Panik.  Due to family commitments I didn't end up coaching Spinning on Monday, so I'm intending on using my last posts ride on Thursday...BUT I always like to post 2 new profiles a week, and Michelle bailed me out with this one.

    Michelle is one of the owners of PureFit & Wellness Club in Cheboygen, MI.  If you've been on Spinning Freak for awhile you may have seen some of her comments.   She too, has been test driving the Cycling Fusion Class Builder app, and I asked her to contribute a class profile, which I'm happy to share with you all here.

    This is an Interval ride finishing with Sprints on a Hill during "Masters of the Universe".  A couple of things to note, and the reason I wanted someone else to test out the app with me is the shorthand; what shorthand can a Spinner use effectively since we can't use spinning icon's on this app.  I have been using the PLUS + sign for showing increases, whereas this app shows ARROWS --> .  I like this adaptation because it reduces confusion between using s MINUS - for decreasing and a HYPHEN - which I've also been including to separate cues.

    Have fun with this one!

    Download this profile...INTERVAL RIDE
    If this fails to download check your pop-up blocker.

    Need the music?

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    But I'm not selling deodorant.

    Dry Idea used to use the slogan, to "Never let them see you sweat.", and while totally a good idea when in a high stress presentation or a meeting with your boss, that's not what Spinning is all about.

    Here's a gross fact:  I will typically lose 3lbs in sweat during a typical interval ride, so grab a big bottle of water and let's get ready to sweat.

    Today's ride has two major strength elements in it, an 8 minute mountain and then a 9 minute mountain.  The 8 minute mountain has a bunch of increases so visualize that as being VERY steep, while the 9 minute mountain is slightly less steep, but seems to go on forever.  Gear yourself up for these mentally so you don't undersell your abilities. 

    A quick look at the heart rate chart will show you that we're going to be finishing high, and that's with 2 awesome 30second sprints.  Remember that sprints are NOT about speed, they're about power.  If you're going faster than 80rpm then you're not doing them right.  These should bog you right down and make you beg for time to speed up because 30 seconds might as well be eternity.

    Download this ride....Interval 016

    Need the music?
    Download it now from iTunes

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Sunglasses at Night

    As part of tonight's ride I have a version of Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, so when I saw this photograph I just had to name this ride after that.  I was looking for an image of a couple of hills that got progressively bigger and BAM, this one popped up.  

    If you've tried to take night landscape photos you can appreciate the difficulty in getting the mountain to show up at night using an excessively long exposure time.  

    About the ride, we're squarely in the Strength Zone (SEZ) tonight staying mostly between 80%-85%.  It's very important to have your heart rate monitor because with the moves that are used during this session it would be very easy to transition over the threshold and turn this into an Interval session.  Remember that regardless of what the cue may say, you have to listen to how you're body is reacting.  If you start to exceed the 85%, back down the intensity.  My preferred method is to lower resistance and maintain cadence; if you're doing jumps at the time simply slow down the up & down motion, not the cadence.

    Strength 010
    Download the cue movements.
    If this fails to download it may be your pop-up blocker.

    iTunes Playlist

    Sunday, December 4, 2011


    I think it's fitting that this ride be an Interval (IEZ) ride and that I call the ride Transitions because I'm continuing to grow and change how I handle things on my Spinning Freak Fan Page.

    First the ride profile
    Just like any other IEZ ride, the intent is to cycle your heart rate up and down between 65% -92% of your Max Heart Rate (MHR).  We do this by pushing with exercises like steep climbs and jumps and then short recovery periods either in the saddle or more of an active recovery in a standing flat.  As always cadence is key and the heart rate tells you that you've got enough resistance on the fly wheel to achieve the desired effect.  If you don't have a heart rate monitor, and your instructor, go out and get one.  No excuses, just get one.  However, if your just a participant, listen to your body and how you feel.  The point where you start panting and can't really catch your breath is your aerobic threshold.  Knowing how this feels is important and it generally puts you around 84% of your MHR, so work from that known level.

    You can download the profile here along with all my cue points
    Interval 015

    Download directly from iTunes

    Now about Spinning Freak Fan Page 
    I'm always looking for ways to do things better, faster, easier, etc...  And in the case of Spinning Freak, reaching a bigger audience and making a bigger impact.  So with this entry, this is my first off Facebook Blog entry.  You'll still get all the same information if you're on my Fan Page in the same way, the Blog simply lets me reach the non-Facebook crowd (at and gives me a more advanced editor than what Facebook permits.  And the best part is, I still only have to make the entry in one place and it automatically feeds into Facebook.  So to my Facebook friends, stay with me and keep commenting.  I'm hoping for some better things in the very near future.